Thursday, 30 July 2009

Wash Out

We had planned several mini-breaks in England this summer. They all seemed a good idea back in June, when the sun was shining. Who needs to go abroad when it's beautiful here?

I set off on Tuesday with the kids to go camping with my sister and her 3. We had planned to go up to Grassington, a beautiful spot in the Yorkshire Dales, with a lovely camp site on the edge of a river.

We got as far as my sister's house in Hebden Bridge only to make the executive decision to not go camping. Not only were showers forecast, but so were torrential downpours. This wasn't the week to go camping.

After the initial disappointment from the children, we made the best of it. We lit a campfire in the garden, we went walking through the beautiful Hardcastle Crags, had BBQs (albeit cooked on the grill inside!) and generally had lots of fun.

It felt like a great break for a city girl and her family, as the view from my sister's house over the Dales is simply stunning. Not quite camping, but an adventure nonetheless.

Next week we are in Cookham Dean, near Marlow. Please cross your fingers for the weather being slightly more continental.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Flickr Swap #1

I was invited to join Fat Quarters Fabric Swap with a Twist Flickr Group last month, my first Swap Group and it's been such fun. July's theme was entitled 'When Life Hands You Lemons', which as you can imagine was full of lemony themed items. For those of you that are novices to the whole Flickr Swap Group thing going on (I was until very recently) you receive a list of items that are in the swap and if you fancy signing up that month you reply to the discussion. A little later you receive your swap partner and send off your goodies. This was the list of our items this month...

Min. of 3 F/Q's of lemony colored fabrics

Lemony recipe

Small lemony colored gift (Not mandatory but a nice little handmade item is always fun)

Min. 1 sewing notion (ie. thread, trim, buttons, etc)

My swap partner is the lovely Cheryl all the way over in Missouri, USA and my gorgeous pile of goodies arrived this morning.
As I said, this is my first swap and the effort and the quality of items I received from Cheryl has filled me with enthusiasm to do more. She was so generous and thoughtful. Not only are the fabrics oh so scrummy, but the other items she included are just fab. I love my notebook cover and the apron is already a fave. I was thrilled to receive a fat quarter of Free Spirit Katie Jump Rope, as I had recently used up my little stash. And I'm in love with the pretty ditsy white floral 'Holly Hill' by Laurie Bird.
And how on earth did Cheryl know that I love chocolate - dark chocolate - more than any other confectionary in the world. And I simply can not wait to try out her Mom's Lemon bar Recipe.

So if all this has persuaded you that it's worth giving a swaps a try (did you notice the buttons? Did you? My goodies were never ending), go get 'em and enjoy! And if you do, cross your fingers that you get Cheryl as a partner, because she is such a thoughtful and incredibly generous swapper. (I just hope you aren't disappointed with the swap I sent you...I'll post that when I know Cheryl has received it)

Friday, 24 July 2009

Favourite Sew Far

Not even I could have anticipated that I'd be back so quickly! But I just had to share with you the latest colour combo for the pincushions and needlecases. Definitely my favourite so far. Let's hope my stockists agree because a fair few of these will be included in the orders!

Brief Absence

Apologies for my absence all week. The Home & Gift Fair went really really well. I've got some lovely new stockists that I'm very pleased to be supplying. And there are some very interesting leads that I'm going to be following up in the coming weeks and hopefully have lots of exciting news to share with you.
The Fair was great on so many levels. As a working Mum who is constantly juggling with life, work and the universe (I know you all know what I mean) doing a Fair enables you to devote time guiltlessly on your career. It's fantastic and oh so rare to be able to throw yourself into that and not feel bad.

Also it is wonderful to be around so many talented people, chatting creative chats and meeting like-minded others, who also understand only too well the juggling and challenges that is involved. I met some fab people and had the pleasure of being in their company this week.

After all your words of encouragement about my pincushions and needle cases, I decided to offer them for sale. And hey, guess what? I sold some! Quite a few actually. So I'm already in the production line of them.
School officially breaks up for my younger 2 today and I always approach the summer holidays with a mixture of pleasure and trepidation. Obviously work can't close for 6 weeks so it's a constant juggling act. So if you don't hear from me very often it will be because the blog will no doubt take a very low position in order of priorities. It will kill me to abandon it somewhat, but all being well I'll be back in full force, renewed and invigorated, in September.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

As if I have the time

Honestly. Will someone just shoot me now? I have so much to do for Saturday, but I just can't help myself can I? My 'to do' list is ever expanding, yet, somehow, it's beyond me quite how, I get busy making things. Not things that are for sale you realise. Oh no, that would be far too straight forward. Nope, things to make my stand look pretty. Things that are distracting me from what I really should be doing.

You know I'm a little obsessed with pin cushions at the mo? It seems this has now transferred to needlecases too. I know I know. I did tell someone to shoot me now!

It's irrelevent that I'm pleased with the outcome. It's irrelevent that they are quite pretty. It's irrelevent that I had lots of fun making them.
The point is that I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!

(Off now, sewing machine, fabric and any other distracting items put on a top shelf out of reach so I can try and get on with exactly what must be done...)

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Now or...

With Home & Gift being at the end of this week there were a few things that I wanted to do by today or, let's face it, they weren't going to get done until after the show. Or about a week after the show, after I've managed to scrape myself off my floor and am fully recovered.

One of the things on the list was to blog. I've done a couple of pathetic 'hi, I'm pretending to be here' posts over the weekend, but I was aware that I've been keeping a bit of a low profile here. So that needed to be put straight.

The other thing I was determined to do was to finish the cushions my sister had commissioned me. I know she's going away on Saturday and I know I wasn't seeing her until she got back and so that could have been a post show item but, as I mentioned before, by the time I've done the show, recovered from it, there will be so many more pressing things that have built up.

So last night whilst twittering away to some of you lovely people (thanks for keeping me company!) I finished off her second cushion. I'd given her a glimpse of the first. She loved it. She said she'd like the second one to match but not identical. Well, duh.

I'm really pleased with how the second one (below) has come out. I was really pleased with the first, but like anything I seem to do, somehow the second of something seems to progress, in a good way, from what has come first. It's almost as if the first was the experiment.

Matthew, however prefers the first. The fact that his first reaction was 'wow, are they for us' is compliment enough for me. And hopefully my sis will feel the same.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sunday Stash Number #3

A little purchase of Sanderson yummy yellows...

Coordinate rather nicely with the blue gingham...

Friday, 10 July 2009


Less than 24 hours ago I went on line to one of my favourite online fabric shops in the UK and less than 24 hours later here it is sitting right here with me. Now that's magic.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

From London to Paris

First there was this...

And now there is this.

What was I thinking? How I could possibly have one without the other?
(Thanks, Julie, for being so amazingly creative and clever and producing yet another item that is already set for being a best seller)

Monday, 6 July 2009


I think I gave you a sneak preview last week of Hannah Nunn's stunning lamps that I am now the proud stockist of. Her work is a joy to see, a mixture of hand and laser cut botanical and abstract designs that look beautiful enough when the lights are off, but come magically to life when they are on.

As well as making table and floor lamps, Hannah designs and makes stunning Fairy Lights that either come in a random hand-cut design or can be personalised with your own special individual message. As you can see from my new blog header I've ordered one for Blueberry Park. I am so thrilled with it.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sunday Stash #2

I have a few stashes to show after my trip out shopping this week. I'll start this week with the Liberty pile of bargains. Less than £10 in total for this pile of over 5 metres of the best Tana Lawn designs that money can buy :-)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Home & Gift

I keep forgetting that I'm exhibiting in 2 weeks (yep, Manda, 2 weeks) at Home & Gift. At least you'd think I had by the fact that I have done zero preparation both in terms of thinking about my stand (I have an extra side wall than at BCTF) and getting my Christmas Kits ready (yes, Christmas, you heard correctly).

The preview magazine came in the post yesterday and look who made it into the Intro North section? Yeah, little ol me!! Guess, I'd better go get ready.

Building Blocks

I'm at a loss as to what has actually been achieved this week. It's been one hellava week on so many different levels and there is alot of preparation going on for some exciting new projects in the pipeline. You know what it's like when you are preparing for something major? It takes time. There is alot of ground work to be done, alot of building blocks to be put in place. And all this is happening before you can actually see anything concrete. Well that is what has been going on here.

Hence no blogging for almost a week (how did THAT happen?). And almost no making for a week either.

Last night, armed with a shed load of new fabrics from a trip to a new venue with Manda (that will have to wait for another post!), I really couldn't rest until I'd cut a hole in one of them. I'd taken them apart, folded them neatly, compared and contrasted, but nothing was going to satisfy me until something had been made. And since I didn't have a great deal of time to make anything substantial and since I didn't want to use up unthoughtfully any of my new luscious buys, I opted for making another little pin cushion. A perfect quick project for using a splash of colour.

I've been enjoying making pincushions recently. This red one is another 'knock up in a spare moment to satisfy a making craving' item. I have to accept that there is a time to sew and a time to plan and prepare. And at the moment it's the latter. And the quicker I get on with it, the quicker I can let you know what I'm up to...